Heritage sites on the Peninsula and East Greenwich / by greenpenlondon

A row of eight Georgian cottages (1800) and the Pilot Inn public house (1801); Enderby House (1830), home to the whaling trade and later the submarine cable industry; the iron frame of a gas holder (1888), once part of Europe's largest gas works; entrance gatehouse to the Blackwall Tunnel (1897) and an architectural tunnel ventilation tower (1967) now enclosed within the dome of The O2; the eccentric Rothbury Mission Hall 1894); former 'arts and craft' style East Greenwich Fire Station (1902) and Public Library (1905); two 1926-edition red telephone boxes; and the now-demolished Sainsbury's Millennium Eco Store (1999).

Grade II Listed Structures

Southern Ventilation Shaft to the Blackwall Tunnel (Southbound) on Blackwall Tunnel Approach (Grade II, Listed Dec 2000)

Two curved ventilation shafts designed by Terry Farrell were added to the Blackwall Tunnel in 1967 - one located north of the river at Blackwall and another south of the river on the Greenwich Peninsula. When the Millennium Dome was built between 1997-1999, its superstructure was specially shaped around the southern tower. Both tunnel ventilation towers were Grade II listed in December 2000 as works of striking architectural quality.

Northern ventilation shaft to Blackwall Tunnel, off East India Dock Road in Blackwall - Sept 2016 [greenpenlondon]

Blackwall Tunnel ventilation shaft within The O2's super structure - March 2016 [NPAS London]

Both Blackwall Tunnel ventilation shafts were Grade II listed in December 2000 - photo Sept 2016 [greenpen.london]

View north across North Greenwich and The O2 - July 2016 [greenpen.london]

Entrance gatehouse to the Blackwall Tunnel, Tunnel Avenue (Grade II, listed June 1973)

Entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel, completed 1879

The entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel was built in 1897, prior to the opening of the tunnel. The whole ground floor is one large archway with a moulded architrave, and there are irregular bands of red and yellow sandstone. The structure has a very tall pyramidal roof with side chimneys and ogee turrets. The structure was built to both demarcate the entrance to the tunnel and form a gatehouse to accommodate caretakers of the tunnel. The asset is intrinsically linked with the infrastructure of the Blackwall Tunnel.

Entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel - Sept 2016 [greenpen.london]

Approved massing elements of the 2015 Masterplan development outlined in blue [Montagu Evans LLP]

70-84 River Way (Grade II, listed Oct 1998)

River Way is home to a row of eight cottages, which form a rare survival of late Georgian artisanal housing, and are significant because they represent the earliest residential development on the Greenwich Peninsula. The cottages were constructed to house workers from the nearby tidal mill and chemical works. The cottages date from approximately 1800 and were extended at the turn of the 19th century to include single storey extensions to the rear of the building. The cottages are one bay wide, with one window per floor with gauged arches. Internally the cottages retain wooden partition walls, stair joinery and floorboards.

Row of eight cottages built around 1800, the earliest housing on Greenwich Peninsula - July 2016 [greenpen.london]

View along River Way towards The Pilot Inn and Knight Dragon's Cable & Roper development - November 2015 [greenpen.london]

Enderby House on Christchurch Way (Grade II, listed 1973)

Enderby House was built around 1830 and belonged to the firm of Samuel Enderby, the largest whalers and sealers in Britain, and pioneers of Antarctic exploration. After the decline of British whaling, the Submarine Cable Company berthed the "Great Eastern" at this spot. It was from Enderby Wharf that the first Atlantic cables were loaded on to a cable laying ship in the late 1850s, forever transforming global telecommunications once the cable was successfully laid at the bottom of the ocean. 

Barratt Home's current redevelopment of Enderby Wharf is to provide a new public square surrounding Enderby House, which - according to plans approved in August 2015 - is to be enlarged and refurbished and opened as a restaurant. Together with a new cruise terminal, the new open spaces around Enderby House are to "create a thriving destination for residents and visitors alike".

Enderby House shown a state of disrepair within the Barratt Homes Enderby Wharf development [Enderby Group]

Local campaigners laid out ideas to inspire enthusiasm and support for the redevelopment of Enderby House - March 2016 [OnTheThames]

Barrett Home's Enderby Wharf development under construction - September 2016 [greenpenlondon]

Approved plans for a new cruise terminal building and redeveloped Enderby House (shown in white) [Manser Practice]

Rothbury Hall off Azof Street/Mauritus Street (Grade II, listed Feb 1995)

Rothbury Mission Hall was built between 1893-4 by WT Hollands, at the expense of arms manufacturer Josiah Vavasseur (1834-1908) for the Congregationalists. Rothbury Hall later went on to be used by the East Greenwich United Reformed Church and for the last 20 years has been home of Emergency Exit Arts. Its design features 'a roofline of cupola, thin spirelets and dormers' and has been described as 'very weird and exotic'.

Rothbury Hall off Azof Street and Mauritius Street - May 2015 [greenpen,london]

Former East Greenwich Library, 203 Woolwich Road (Grade II, listed 1993)

The East Greenwich Public Library, completed in 1905, was designed by Sydney RJ Smith in neo-classical style and was built for the Carnegie Trust. The red brick building is dressed in Portland stone with slate roof with two end chimneystacks. After years of decline, a new library opened in the Greenwich Centre on Vanbrugh Hill in East Greenwich that also houses a new leisure centre, health facility, crèche and cafe.

Former East Greenwich Library, closed in June 2015 - photo January 2011 [Geograph}

Former East Greenwich Fire Station, Tunnel Avenue (Grade II, listed March 1986)

East Greenwich Fire Station - [The Greenwich Phantom]

The East Greenwich Fire Station, built between 1901 and 1902, was designed by the Fire Brigade Section of the London County Council's Architect's Department. It occupies a truncated triangular site at the junction of Tunnel Avenue and Horn Lane. The red brick building with some stone dressing comprises of a 5-storey block at the rear of the site with firemen's accommodation on the upper floors, and the attached single-storey engine house at the front of the site. The site has recently been refurbished into the Old Fire Station Apartments.

Old East Greenwich Fire Station refurbished to Old Fire Station Apartments - April 2016 [Google Street View]

Telephone Kiosk No.2 design by Giles Gilbert Scott

K2 Telephone Kiosks, Outside Number 201 (Grade II, listed 1987)

Two examples of K2 kiosk, Britain's first red Telephone Box, one located outside the former East Greenwich Library and another on Whitworth Street. It was the winning design from a 1924 competition to find the design for a national kiosk. Designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the K2 was introduced in 1926 and over the next nine years some 1,700 examples were installed mostly in London. Just over 200 examples remain on British streets and these are given Grade II listing status by English Heritage.

K2 telephone kiosk on Whitworth Street, Greenwich - June 2015 [Google Street View]

Locally listed buildings

The Pilot Inn Public House, River Way

This 18th century public inn, formerly two dwellings, first opened in 1801 under the name ‘The Pilot Inn and Ferry’. The Pilot Inn lies adjacent to the Grade II listed Georgian cottages on River Way, within Greenwich Peninsula's Central Park, and is now owned by Fuller's Brewery.

The Pilot Inn first opened in 1801 - photo July 2016 [greenpen.london]

View across River Way to the new architectural fluestack of the District Energy Centre - September 2016 [greenpen.london]

Sites of interest

No.1 Gasholder, Former East Greenwich Gas Works

The South Metropolitan Gas Works were developed on the Greenwich Peninsula in the late 19th century. The larger neighbour (No.2) of the existing Gasholder was once the largest gas holder in Europe and together they formed part of the works that came to dominate the Peninsula. The original telescopic holder of No.1 has now been removed leaving only the outer iron lattice guide frame. Whilst the gasholder is not listed statutorily or locally, it has been identified as a significant structure in the ‘Peninsula West Masterplan SPD’ in 2012.

The gas holder dominates the skyline of the western Greenwich Peninsula - June 2016 [greenpen.london]

Gas holder viewed from Greenwich Peninsula's Central Park - May 2016 [greenpen.london]

Gas holder seen from the Isle of Dogs - September 2016 [greenpenlondon]

Sainsbury's Supermarket (Demolished), 55 Bugby's Way, Greenwich

The 'Sainsbury's Millennium Eco Store' was built in 1999 as part of the redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula as model of sustainable urban renewal. The building, designed by Chetwood Associates, represented a complete re-think of supermarket design. Every aspect of the standard retail ‘shed’ was re-assessed to maximise energy efficiency and minimise the impact on the environment.

Threatened with demolition after Sainsbury's announced a move to a new larger store, attempts were made in 2014 to list the building but English Heritage turned down the application. A report concluded that the building did not meet the high bar for special interest set by listing at grade II because of its “lack of flexibility”, and that despite being a one-off sustainable ‘concept store’, it is “not of sufficient importance as a pioneer of, or turning point for, sustainable retail architecture.” A Certificate of Immunity was issued for a period of five years, preventing the building from being listed and paving the way for its demolition. Detailed plans for a new Ikea store are expected in 2017.

Construction of the Sainsbury's store on the Greenwich Peninsula was completed in 1999 [Chetwoods Architects]

Wind turbines at the former Sainsbury's store, controversially demolished in spring 2016 [greenpen.london]